Yesterday, fourteen of the 15 legislators who left Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress join the opposition
Senate President Bukola Saraki, the number three political leader in Africa’s biggest economy, told Reuters in an interview a few hours later that the chances of him also leaving the APC were “very, very high”.
The defections, and the suggestion that there may be more to come, have taken place just weeks after a faction within the party said it no longer backed Buhari.
The fissures threaten to split support for Buhari within powerful patronage networks and among voters ahead of the presidential poll scheduled for February 2019 that will decide who runs Africa’s top oil producer.
Fighting within the APC coalition, which united to unseat Buhari’s predecessor rather than because of ideological unity, has mounted for years in a struggle for power and influence between those loyal to the head of state and others who say they have been targeted in a witch-hunt by the presidency.
Divisions emerged publicly in the weeks following the APC’s conference in June where new party leaders were elected. Others saw their hopes of greater powers within the party dashed just months before the presidential and legislative elections.
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